The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging.
For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk.
For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through the illegal recruitment of skilled and experienced experts from Taiwan to meet Beijing’s push for chip self-sufficiency.
Home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), a key chip supplier to Nvidia Corp, whose artificial intelligence (AI) products dominate the growing AI market, Taiwan is known for its advanced semiconductor prowess, with cutting-edge technologies like silicon photonics and wafer-level heterogeneous packaging, as well as related chemicals, materials and equipment also considered crucial.
The NSTC said in a statement that the semiconductor industry wields great influence on related industries and is a pillar of the nation’s economy, given their leading position in the world.
Taiwan is home to the world’s leading foundry suppliers and providers of chip packaging and testing services.
In addition to the semiconductor industry, the list covers other categories of technologies crucial to national security or that are of strategic importance.
These range from military-grade 3D active phased array radar technology used in drones and missiles to satellite, space, agriculture and cyberdefense technologies, as well as post-quantum cryptography to fight against cryptanalytic cyberattacks from quantum computers.
The technologies with leading advantages or are in need of imminent protection are put on the first-phase protection list, the council said.
The council is to review the list every three months as it aims to prevent technology leaks to China, including Hong Kong and Macau, or foreign hostile forces, to prevent them from undermining the nation’s security, industrial competitiveness or economic development.
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